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Legal Writing Skills Workbook

Forum Legal

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INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................5
1

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY .............................................................................................7


1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ........................................................................................ 12


2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4

Expressions of doubt .............................................................................................. 40


Contract terminology .............................................................................................. 40
Reading comprehension ........................................................................................ 42

COMMERCIAL TORTS .................................................................................................. 45


9.1
9.2
9.3
9.4

10

Prepositions in contracts ........................................................................................ 36


Here-, there- & where- words ................................................................................. 36
Operative words ..................................................................................................... 37
Contract clauses ..................................................................................................... 37

CONTRACT TERMINATION .......................................................................................... 40


8.1
8.2
8.3

Relative pronouns .................................................................................................. 31


Terminology............................................................................................................ 32
Over & under .......................................................................................................... 32
Case study: In the Matter of James McMenamin Ltd ............................................. 33
Replace missing sentences ................................................................................... 34

CONTRACT FORMATION ............................................................................................. 36


7.1
7.2
7.3
7.4

Words of statement and opinion ............................................................................ 26


Making negatives ................................................................................................... 26
Latin terminology .................................................................................................... 27
Contract comprehension ........................................................................................ 28

COMPANY DISSOLUTION ............................................................................................ 30


6.1
6.2
6.3
6.4
6.5

Word forms ............................................................................................................. 21


Terminology............................................................................................................ 21
Punctuation ............................................................................................................ 22
Comprehension exercise ....................................................................................... 22

CORPORATE ACQUISITIONS ...................................................................................... 26


5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4

Verbs, nouns, adjectives ........................................................................................ 17


Phrasal verbs ......................................................................................................... 17
Reading comprehension ........................................................................................ 18

COMPANY FORMATION ............................................................................................... 21


4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4

Terminology............................................................................................................ 12
Abbreviations .......................................................................................................... 13
Text comprehension ............................................................................................... 13
Comprehension exercise ....................................................................................... 15

EMPLOYMENT ............................................................................................................... 17
3.1
3.2
3.3

Commercial property terminology .............................................................................7


Easily confused words...............................................................................................8
Verbs and nouns .......................................................................................................8
Lease comprehension ...............................................................................................9

Adverbs .................................................................................................................. 45
Sexist language ...................................................................................................... 46
Terminology............................................................................................................ 46
Reading comprehension ........................................................................................ 47

EUROPEAN COMPETITION LAW ................................................................................ 51


10.1
10.2

Vocabulary: distinguishing meaning....................................................................... 51


Case study: Irish Sugar plc v Commission (1999) ................................................. 51

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10.3

Enforcement of competition law: Regulation 17/62 ................................................ 54

ANSWER KEY ........................................................................................................................ 57

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Introduction
Overview
This Legal Writing Skills Workbook is a self-study resource prepared by
Forum Legal. It is intended for non-native English speaking legal professionals
and law students who wish to assess and improve their skills in legal English
as it is used in international commercial legal practice. It provides a useful
alternative or supplement to a taught course.
The style of exercises used in the Workbook reflects that used in the reading
elements of the tests used for Cambridge ESOLs International Legal English
Certificate (see http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/ilec.htm), which is the
worlds only fully accredited legal English qualification. The Workbook
therefore represents a useful preparatory resource for this qualification.

Content
The Workbook is split into ten sections, differentiated by legal subject-matter.
These are as follows:
1) Commercial Property
2) Intellectual Property
3) Employment Law
4) Company Formation
5) Corporate Acquisitions
6) Company Dissolution
7) Contract Formation
8) Contract Termination
9) Commercial Torts
10) European Competition Law
The exercises contained in each of these sections relate to the legal subjectmatter at hand, and comprise the following elements:

Subject-matter terminology
Reading comprehension of textual material
Drafting issues
Problematic aspects of grammar and punctuation encountered in legal
writing
Word usage and differentiation

How to use this Workbook


The majority of the exercises in this Workbook are in multiple choice or
matching format and can therefore be completed fairly swiftly to obtain an
overall score. 50 marks are available for each individual section, making an
overall total of 500. After completing the Workbook or an individual section of

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the Workbook, check your score by comparing your answers with those given
in the Answer Key.

Score assessment
Over 450 marks: an excellent performance, indicating a near-native level of
legal English usage.
350-450 marks: a very good performance, indicating a high level of legal
English usage, with some scope for further improvement.
250-350 marks: a fairly competent performance, indicating an adequate level
of legal English usage, with clear scope for improvement.
150-250 marks: An average performance, indicating some grasp of legal
English usage but with very clear scope for improvement.
Less than 150 marks: a poor performance, indicating a low level of legal
English usage. Serious remedial tuition required.

Further assistance
Please do not hesitate to contact the author of this Workbook, Rupert Haigh,
by email (rupert.haigh@forum-legal.com) if you require further assistance or
information. You may also wish to visit our online Legal English Store at
www.legalenglishstore.com for further legal English products.

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Commercial Property

1.1

Commercial property terminology

Insert the correct word or phrase from the list below into the following
sentences.
1) A lease is usually granted by the freeholder of the property, but in many
cases the lessee is entitled to ______ the property.
2) Lease agreements usually contain ________ which require the tenant
from refraining to do certain things in their use of the property.
3) It is important to note that the stated ____________ may not take
account of concessions granted to the lessee, which may reduce the
amount in fact paid.
4) The ___________ represents the amount for which the property could
be let on the open market.
5) The lessee of a property has certain rights, including prohibitions
against unlawful entry or eviction, and these are usually contained in a
covenant for ________________.
6) The landlord may be entitled to exercise rights of _________ where the
tenant has breached certain terms of the lease agreement.
7) The rent payable under the lease is usually expected to be fixed for an
indefinite period the lease will generally contain a clause providing for
periodical ___________.
8) After the lease has expired, the property will usually __________ to the
landlord.
9) When the lease is transferred from one party to another, the
____________ becomes responsible for paying the rent to the landlord
and fulfilling the other obligations under the lease.
10) The transfer of an interest in property from one party to another is
formally termed __________.
a)
b)
c)
d)
e)
f)
g)
h)

re-entry
market rent
alienation
restrictive covenants
rent review
revert
quiet enjoyment
assignee

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i) headline rent
j) sub-let
Total marks available: 10

1.2

Easily confused words

Choose the correct word to complete the following short sentences.


1) The statute (prescribes/proscribes) the use of dangerous chemicals
near residential areas.
2) Paragraph 3 should be (omitted/emitted).
3) The landlord sought to (kerb/curb) antisocial behaviour by tenants.
4) We (apprised/appraised) the services offered by the company.
5) The crowd gradually (diffused/defused).
6) Mary can be relied upon to be (discreet/discrete).
7) Please refer to the (draft/draught) lease.
8) We believe that this is an (equable/equitable) agreement for all the
parties.
9) It is an important legal (principle/principal) that where a material term of
a contract is breached, the aggrieved party is entitled to redress.
10) The company is completely (disinterested/uninterested) in making
further purchases of commercial property at this time.
Total marks available: 10

1.3

Verbs and nouns

Legal English contains many abstract nouns, which relate to verbs. For
example, consideration and consider. In some cases the noun form may be
the same as the verb form. For example, a draft is a preliminary version of a
document, while to draft is the activity of writing the document.
Complete the table below.
Verb

Noun

(1)

permit

lease

(2)

(3)

decision

intend

(4)

(5)

restriction

apply

(6)

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(7)

award

regulate

(8)

(9)

appointment

occupy

(10)

Total marks available: 10

1.4

Lease comprehension

Read the excerpt from a lease set out below, and then answer the questions
on it.
4.

Sublease and Assignment

Tenant shall have the right without Landlords consent, to (a) ________ this Lease to
a corporation with which Tenant may merge or consolidate, to any (b) __________ of
Tenant, to any corporation under common control with Tenant, or to a purchaser of
substantially all of Tenants (c) ________. Except as set forth above, Tenant shall not
sublease all or any part of the Leased Premises, or assign this Lease in whole or in
part without Landlords consent, such consent not to be unreasonably (d) _________
or delayed.
5.

Repairs

During the Lease term, Tenant shall make, at Tenants expense, all necessary repairs
to the Leased Premises. Repairs shall include such items as routine repairs of floors,
walls, ceilings, and other parts of the Leased Premises damaged or worn through
normal (e) __________, except for major mechanical systems or the roof, (f)
________ the obligations of the parties otherwise set forth in this Lease.
6.

Alterations and Improvements

Tenant, at Tenants expense, (g) _______ have the right following Landlords consent
to remodel, redecorate, and make additions, improvements and replacements of and to
all or any part of the Leased Premises from time to time as the Tenant may (h)
________ desirable, provided the same are made in a workmanlike manner and (i)
________ good quality materials. Tenant shall have the right to place and install
personal property, trade fixtures, equipment and other temporary installations in and
upon the Leased Premises, and fasten the same to the premises. All personal property,
equipment, machinery, trade fixtures and temporary installations, whether (j)
________ by Tenant at the (k) _________ of the Lease term or placed or installed on
the Leased Premises by Tenant (l) _________, shall remain Tenants property free
and clear of any claim by Landlord. Tenant shall have the right to remove the same at
any time during the term of this Lease provided that all damage to the Leased
Premises caused by such removal shall be repaired by Tenant at Tenants expense.

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